Friendly High School’s girls basketball took a big step toward winning the County 3A/2A/1A League Friday night in front of their home crowd by defeating rival Largo 63-50, giving them a one game lead in the standings.
Largo defeated Friendly 63-61 on Jan. 8, but this time it wasn’t close.
“We’re still trying to put ourselves in position to win the conference so it’s just another win,” Friendly coach Carroll Holmes said. “They’re always going to be a rival and we don’t have any problem with that but the win was just another win.”
Both teams played relentless defense in the first quarter, which ended with Friendly (15-5) leading 5-4.
Senior Chayla Lewis got the scoring going for the Patriots in the second quarter inside and outside the 3-point line, scoring eight points on the way to her team-high 20 points for the night.
Five different Lions scored for Largo in the second quarter but they still went into halftime trailing 22-19.
Coming out in the third it was clear what Largo (15-5) intended to do, get the ball in the hands of Keena Samuels. She was scoreless at halftime but scored all but one of Largo’s buckets in the third giving her 13 points for the quarter.
But Friendly’s balanced attacked and improved free throw shooting from the first half proved to be too strong. Five different Patriots scored in the third quarter including five points from senior Danielle Pray, who finished the game with 10 points.
Friendly was able to distance itself a little bit in the third but it was still a 7-point game going into the fourth quarter.
Samuels continued to score for Largo, dropping another eight points in the final quarter to give her a game-high 21 points.
However, Friendly seniors scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a 13-point win.
Lewis added seven more points in the fourth and fellow senior Janay Carter scored four of her 12 points in the final quarter as well.
Breanna Brown was another contributing senior for the Patriots, scoring at least once in every quarter and ending the game with 13 points.
Holmes credits the defense for the win.
“I thought we played better defense,” Holmes said. “I thought we moved our feet better … we also rebounded the basketball. We limited their second opportunities and that was the key.”
Friendly 63, Largo 50
Friendly 5 17 19 22
Largo 4 15 15 16
Friendly (15-5, 13-2): Breanna Brown 13; Janay Carter 12; Chandler Davenport 2; Chayla Lewis 20; Danielle Pray 10; Marche’ Sisco 4.
Largo (15-5, 13-2): India Ayer 2; Amel Duggins 10; Chance Graham 7; Kala Hill 3; Alexys Long 4; Keena Samuels 21; Kieria Williams 3.